Saturday, January 14, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging #15: Anasazi Beans and a History Lesson

This week's Weekend Herb Blogging is combining a little history lesson with some foodie talk. Recently in my fourth grade classroom we had a Native American Feast to finish up 6 weeks of learning about the early inhabitants of Utah. For the feast I cooked Anasazi Beans, and they were a huge hit with the kids. Anasazi Beans are a variety of beans that were found among the ruins of an Anasazi cliff-dwelling somewhere in the four corners region of the U.S. and then the beans were germinated and re-introduced. Although the beans have other names, in Utah they are called Anasazi Beans after the Anasazi peoples who lived in Southern Utah and Arizona about 130 A.D. The name Anasazi means "ancient ones" and Anasazi people are probably most well known for their amazing rock art, also called pictographs (painted rock art) and petroglyphs (carved rock art) found all over Southern Utah.

Anasazi Beans have a unique flavor that is sweeter than other dried beans. They cook much more quickly than other beans (after being soaked overnight) and also contain only about 25% of the undigestible carbohydrate that sometimes cause undesirable side effects in people who eat beans. My students loved the beans I made, in fact one student proclaimed, "These are the best beans in the universe." I know enough about kids' eating habits not to put any visible seasonings or green things in their beans, which turn kind of a pinkish color when cooked. I seasoned the beans for school with Goya Ham Flavor Concentrate, onion powder and garlic powder. Tune in tomorrow to see what I'm going to do with the Anasazi Beans shown in this photo.

Weekend Herb Blogging happens every weekend on Kalyn's Kitchen. It's not just about herbs; it's about learning about new foods and plants from around the world. To participate, simply photograph and write about any herb, plant, veggie, or flower, link to Kalyn's Kitchen with the words *Weekend Herb Blogging* and then send me your permalink (to kalynskitchen AT comcast DOT net.) You can copy the WHB icon (left) into your post also if you want to. (Thanks to Mae from Rice and Noodles for that brilliant idea!) If you're participating this weekend, send me your link by mid-afternoon on Sunday (Utah time) so I can include you in the recap on Sunday night. Also remember every weekend is Weekend Cat Blogging at Eatstuff and Weekend Dog Blogging at Sweetnicks.
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13 comments:

  1. I always pick up some of those beans when I go to southern Utah or southwest Colorado.

    Yes, the Escalante area, especially the white and red slickrock, is the most beautiful place in the world. We've been there numerous times and can't stop going back. DH is a fisherman, and we go to fish the lakes on Boulder Mountain, or Calf Creek, or Pine Creek, or Posey Lake, or Tropic Reservoir, or Pine Lake..... and I go to enjoy the peace and quiet and wonderful scenery.

    However, with my politics, I will NOT go to that *&X%$ Lake. I wish they'd drain it.

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  2. No, no, no. (Finally some controversy on Kalyn's Kitchen!) I love Lake Powell and for more than ten years I organized houseboat trips there. The lake is there now. Maybe it was shortsighted to cover up what was there, but it's simply the most beautiful place on earth. And the water makes it possible for millions of people a year to see what used to be seen by just a handful. Draining it would be a huge mistake.

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  3. Wow, the beans are so colourful! am sure they taste pretty good!

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  4. Hi Kayln,
    They look gorgeous! I've never seen such beans before... As I fall for everything colorful concerning food, I have to ask our friends from Colorado about them ;)

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  5. No need to beg for votes--you're in the lead! I just voted and you're looking good. Thanks for the comment on my blog!

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  6. I have native some herbs growing in a vase, will photograph them once they grow full.. By next wekeend, they should look good.. Linked your leftover Chicken.... looks very delicious.. Check out the cottage cheese i have posted

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  7. We don't eat enough beans.... maybe it's time we should since you have great selections of beans recipes.

    Btw, a question about the new gorgeous WHB logo. Do we add this to our post too? It's so cute. Tell Randy i love it.

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  8. Kalyn, can't make it this week as I need more herbs to make my dish for the lily bulbs herb blog. I promise I will post for next week. With the cool new WHB logo!

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  9. Lera, Nicky, Gourmetish, Mae and MM, thanks for stopping to see my beans. Mae, once again, you are brilliant for the idea of using the WHB icon on everyone's post. (Optional of course.) MM, don't worry, no pressure to do it every week.

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  10. Oops, Anthony, didn't mean to miss you! The paneer looks great.

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  11. Kalyn, I loved your history lesson! I hope to visit Utah someday...meanwhile I must look for those beans. I wonder if they are sold in NYC stores at all.

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  12. Love the history lessons and the beans look very interesting. I've never seen them before. Thanks, Kalyn!

    Paz

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  13. Thanks for the history lesson. I love learning where food came from and how it got its name, etc. Anasazi is, embarrassingly, a term I knew from The X-Files.

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